For Immediate Release: October 21, 2003
Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107;
Paul Kerr, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x102
(Washington, D.C.): In an October 21 interview with editors and analysts of Arms Control Today, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), welcomed news reports that Iran has agreed to cooperate with the agency to resolve concerns surrounding its nuclear program.
ElBaradei described the news as "encouraging," but emphasized that he would need to see the details of the Iranian commitment. He also expressed hope that Iran's statement of cooperation "will open the way for hopefully a comprehensive settlement of the Iranian issues through verification and through political dialogue." Securing Iran's cooperation "would be a leap forward in terms of the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program," ElBaradei said.
Press reports have indicated that, following a meeting with the British, French, and German foreign ministers, Iran agreed to comply with the IAEA's demands that Tehran provide agency inspectors with relevant information concerning its nuclear program, as well as allow inspectors access to any facilities they wish to inspect.
Additionally, Tehran has reportedly agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and sign an additional protocol to its safeguards agreement. The latter measure provides for more intrusive inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities than currently allowed.
ElBaradei stressed that the IAEA "would like to have in Iran and everywhere else a continuous process of inspections" to provide confidence that states-parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty are abiding by their treaty commitments.
The November issue of Arms Control Today will feature excerpts from the full interview with ElBaradei.
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The Arms Control Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies to address security threats posed by nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as conventional arms.